These Easy-to-Miss Self-Care Practices Can Be Keys to Health & Happiness

By Dylan Foster

If someone asked you to describe your lifestyle, do you think you would use words like satisfying, healthy, and balanced? If you fall short in any of those categories, chances are you’re neglecting some important self-care practices. Here are some of the essentials that are easy to overlook, but all of them can make a big difference in your health and happiness.

Examine Body Basics

We know our bodies need some very basic things just to live, including sleep, food, and air. However, sometimes we tend to get by with an unhealthy bare minimum. Carefully weigh your wellness-oriented choices for your physical self; if you’re burning the candle at both ends, smoking, and eating fast food, there can be far-reaching, life-shortening consequences. You deserve better, and while changes are difficult, they are far from impossible.

Stop Counting Sheep

Instead of living a sleep-deprived life, aim for a minimum of seven hours of slumber every night. You can improve your rest simply by changing up some habits. Get some sunshine every day, set a bedtime routine, and avoid caffeine late in the day. Plan to go to bed at the same time every day — even on days off — and steer clear of electronic devices at bedtime. For incentive, consider an upgrade to your sleep environment. For instance, invest in some new sheets or room-darkening window treatments.

Set a Date

As Verywell Mind points out, smoking is an addiction and can be especially challenging to quit. Bear in mind that while it is difficult, once over the hump, things will start to improve. Many people use aids to quit, and some manage to go cold turkey. Either way, you are best off enlisting support from those who care about you. Also, set a couple of specific goals. Plan a date on which will have your last smoke, and make your home environment reflect your commitment. To rid your home of the cigarette smell, get an air purifier (check out different models to find the best one for smokers), and to remove nicotine from your walls and windows, give them a good scrub with vinegar — and don’t skimp on the elbow grease.

Balanced, Convenient, and Quick

A healthy diet is a must, and it should include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and low-fat, low-sugar dairy products. Learn how to read nutrition labels so you can make informed choices at the grocery. Purchase primarily fresh produce and healthy frozen foods, and learn some healthy recipes. When time and energy are at a premium, make-ahead meals can be a lifesaver, and keep some healthful grab-and-go snacks available, such as mixed nuts and chopped veggies, so you aren’t tempted to hit a drive-through.

String Together Good Things

Some sorts of hobbies can be a boon to you in surprising ways. Learning to knit, for instance, can stretch your brain’s fitness as you pick up fresh skills, yet the repetitive nature is similar to yoga, relaxing your mind and body. It appears to lower pain levels, can lower your risk for depression, is an outlet for self-expression, and you can even make interesting, personal gifts for yourself and others. You can learn to knit online, and even join meetups so it’ll enhance your social life. And in case you hadn’t heard, men who knit is a thing, so don’t let old-school gender- bias hold you back from doing something you’ll enjoy!

When it comes to describing your personal well-being, make changes to ensure you’re satisfied, healthy, and balanced. Don’t miss out on pastimes or basic essentials It’s important to practice self-care, and you’re worth it!

Photo by: Godisable Jacob